Sikki is the golden grass from Bihar which is grown in the wet and marshy lands of Madhubani district and in the Sitamarhi district of north Bihar. It is a very eco-friendly craft and the humble grass gets transformed into various articles that are used every day at home and also for ritual and religious purposes.
In order to make articles, the grass is dried and the head of the flower is cut off. The result is a fine gold fibre which is used in weaving to make the dolls, baskets and toys. Interestingly, the dried grass is sold in the weekly bazaars and is sold not by weight but measured by the fistful. Women weavers use only a six-inch long needle-shaped iron object called a takua, which has a round head made of lac which is used to grip the needle while coiling the grass.
A few Sikki grass products are made by women to be given away to their daughters who take it to their husband’s homes as part of their wedding trousseau. Boxes made of sikki are known as ‘Pauti’ which are used to hold ornaments, jewellery and Sindoor.